GOP to fill Gastgeb's seat
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Republicans on Allegheny County Council will be taking applications through Feb. 25 from candidates interested in replacing Vince Gastgeb in the District 5 seat.
Mr. Gastgeb, a Republican, resigned the seat that represents Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park and Bridgeville on Tuesday to take a marketing job at Pittsburgh International Airport. To fill a vacant seat under the county's home rule charter, the remaining Republican council members have 30 days to recommend another GOP member to represent the district until the next municipal general election in November.
The head of council's Republican caucus, Jan Rea of McCandless, said she will make a recommendation after interviewing candidates with Matt Drozd, R-Ross, and Heather Heidelbaugh, an at-large member of council who lives in Mt. Lebanon. Ms. Rea succeeded Mr. Gastgeb as caucus chair.
The full 15-member council votes on the replacement, but by tradition it has never turned down a party recommendation.
Ms. Rea and Ms. Heidelbaugh said they hoped whoever fills the seat temporarily also would win the May primary and become the party's candidate to fill the remainder to Mr. Gastgeb's term, which runs through 2016.
"I welcome anyone who is in that district to apply, anyone who is willing to serve the way the constituents deserve. We will give everyone a fair look," Mr. Drozd said.
Ms. Heidelbaugh said she has received many inquiries about the seat. "I'm hoping people follow through and apply," Ms. Heidelbaugh said. "I speak solely for myself, but my thought would be we will fill it with the interim person and then that person would win the primary."
Jim Roddey, the party's county chairman, said he knows of one person who has expressed interest in the seat, Sue Means, a nurse from Bethel Park. Ms. Means, who couldn't be reached for comment, finished second to D. Raja last spring in the hotly contested state Senate primary.
Republicans who live in the district have until Feb. 25 to submit a letter of interest and resume to the Council Clerk's Office, Allegheny County Courthouse, Grant Street, Pittsburgh 15219. Ms. Rea said the caucus will conduct interviews and make a nomination at council's March 5 meeting.
County elections director Mark Wolosik said candidates for the May primary can begin circulating nominating petitions Feb. 19.
First Published February 9, 2013 12:00 am